He still hasn’t coached a game, but Chattanooga basketball coach Will Wade continues to rebuild his program through hard work on the recruiting trail.
Jacolby Mobley, a 6-0 sophomore combo guard from East Mississippi Community College, committed on Monday after taking a weekend visit to UTC. He joins 6-3 guard Shaquille Preston and 6-1 guard Brandon Maxwell, both high school seniors, and 6-6 sophomore Anthony “Duke” Ethridge in the Mocs’ 2014 class. The Mocs also have VCU transfer Justin Tuoyo and 6-4 Queens University transfer Tre McLean sitting out but able to practice with the team this season.
Last season, Mobley, who played at Starkville (Miss.) High School and was considered one of the top shooters in the state in 2012, averaged 13.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the Lions last season. Like the other players in the Mocs’ recruiting class, he’s considered a tough, competitive player who leaves nothing on the floor.
Preston, known as a top defensive player, was getting attention from several upper-level Division I programs, including Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, VCU, West Virginia and Wichita State before committing to the Mocs. He was rated the No. 11 prospect in the NOLA.com/Times-Picayune Super 16.
NOLA.com wrote that Preston “has an uncanny ability to take over the game when his team needs him most, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Maxwell, a deadly 3-point shooter and tough on-ball defender, is the son of former Florida star Vernon Maxwell, who played in the NBA for for 13 seasons. The younger Maxwell averaged 20.7 points as a junior.
Ethridge, a sophomore at South Georgia Tech, averaged 19 points, nine rebounds and 1.9 blocks and shot 52.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range last season while earning freshman-of-the-year honors in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association. Ethridge was ranked among the National Junior College Athletic Association leaders in six statistics.
But statistics alone don't tell Ethridge's story. By all accounts, he's a rugged competitor who hates to lose.
Ethridge will essentially step in for departing senior Z. Mason at, in the parlance of Wade's system, the "mismatch" position. That means he can overcome a lack of height with the ability to out-quick taller players or take them out on the perimeter. And if he finds himself guarded by an opposing team's two or three man, he'll be able to take him to the basket.
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